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Victoria to review real estate regulators

Last Updated Apr 18, 2018 at 6:09 pm PDT

(Kenny Mason, NEWS 1130 Photo)

BC government undertakes review of housing regulators

Real estate regulators under review as NDP government looks to improve current system

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The provincial government is launching a review of BC’s real estate regulators to make sure people in BC are “effectively protected.”

Finance Minister Carole James says the review will look at the roles and responsibilities of the Real Estate Council of BC and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate.

“Buying and selling property can be stressful, and people need to trust the professionals they are working with,” says Finance Minister Carole James. “Our duty as a government is to make sure the regulatory system is protecting people and functioning effectively. We’re launching a review of the province’s real estate regulators, to make sure they’re acting in the best interest of British Columbians.”

The review will include taking a closer look at the structure and composition of regulators, how they should communicate, and mechanisms for resolving disputes. The review will also consider how to divide responsibility for matters such as licensee qualifications and rule making.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has been lobbying for changes and the board’s newly-elected President, Phil Moore, says this is the only province in Canada with dual regulators.

“The responsibility between these bodies sometimes is unclear. It also becomes more difficult for the public to know which government body to contact if they have issues or questions…. It’s confusing for the public. It’s confusing for realtors when you have one body creating new rules and another body interpreting the rules.”

Moore says the situation’s been confusing since 2016, but rules announced then by the former Liberal government haven’t taken effect yet. “We weren’t sure if the government was going to listen to us, but they have and we believe the review is a good thing and everyone just wants to get it right.”

The province has hired an independent advisor who it says has completed several other reviews for government. He has until Jun. 15 to make his recommendations.

This moves comes just over a month after the province created a special tipline for people to report misconduct within the real estate market.